Who Makes Up the PTO?

Executive Board

Susan Montgomery, Co-President

Susan and the other Co-President manage the PTO and are working with the school and the STEM Board of Directors to establish fundraising goals that support the growth of our students and school.  Susan has a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Colorado State University and worked for more than ten years doing model homes all over the country, prior to kids.  She has been on the PTO at STEM for the past three years, organizing restaurant nights, and overseeing events, including the After Prom 2018.  She is also the Community Service Organizer for Boy Scout Troop 873.  Susan has been married to Sean, Product Manager at Oracle, for 25 years.  This is their 5th year at STEM with Ethan being a Junior, and Ryan, in 9th grade.  Susan enjoys Pilates/yoga and the family enjoys hiking, biking, camping and hanging out with their pug, Scout.  (Vice President 2017-2018, Restaurant Night Coordinator 2016-2017)

Kelley Marie Paulson, Co-President

Kelley Marie is Co-Member at Large. She received a BA in Theater Designs, minor in Art, at Northern Kentucky University. She worked on Broadway, Regional Theaters and Television, later turning her focus on Non-Profit Fundraising Administration; locally working at Rocky Mountain PBS, Women of the West Museum, Women’s Foundation of Colorado and University of Denver. Now she volunteers as a leader in Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, First Lego League, STEM PTO Board Member, Audience of One Theater Productions, Mission Hills ELC and is active in her local community and neighborhood. Married to her husband, Karl, for over 11 years, they recently welcomed their 5th child in May, Two are in Elementary at STEM School Highlands Ranch. She loves skiing, boating, hiking, scrapbooking, and spending time with her family. (Member at Large through December 2018)

Kalissa Braga, Co-Vice President

Kalissa will be helping organize events at STEM School and PTO. Kalissa has an elementary education degree but is currently a stay at home Mom. She and her engineer husband moved from the Midwest seven years ago and have three children: Kale is 9 and in fourth grade at STEM, Brynlee is 6 and is in first grade at a neighborhood elementary, and Teagan is 3 and gets to hang out with her Mommy every day! Kalissa loves cooking, sewing, cheering on the Packers, and helping out at school!​ Kalissa served as Volunteer Coordinator from May 2017-May 2018

Suzanne Sapp, Co-Vice President

Suzanne is a co-Member at Large. She has a degree from Virginia Tech in Biological Systems Engineering with a minor in Microbiology. She worked in manufacturing at Merck; Emerson Process Management; and was a Chlorine Plant Manager, Site Process Control Manager, and Site Technical Training Leader for GE Plastics. Her husband of 20 years, Brian, works for Johns Manville and they had the opportunity to live abroad in Slovakia and China. During their time abroad, Suzanne quit the manufacturing world and volunteered at the International Schools as PTO President, Pack Master for Boy Scouts, and various other School Activities. Last year the family hosted an exchange student from Slovakia. The Sapps both graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (one of the original STEM based schools) and have two boys of their own (9th & 11th grades) and have been at STEM for 5 years.

Karen Lee-Toy, Co-Treasurer

Prior to joining the STEM PTO, Karen was a Treasurer on a Charter School Board of the Cherry Creek School District.  Karen was one of its founding board members.  As Co-Treasurer, Karen manages the PTO financials with activities such as payment disbursements, deposits, cash flow reconciliations, process documentation, and reporting. Her initial goal would be to streamline current and future financial processes with the establishment of a financial policy and procedures manual. This manual would contain guidelines on deposits, disbursements, financial preparation, accepting grant applications and providing general oversight. Karen’s youngest son attends STEM and is a tenth grader.  Karen is currently the Senior Tax Manager at CoBank, ACB.  Her prior work experience was in public accounting mainly in the tax area.  Karen’s background may be in tax and business but one of her passions is learning and education.  Karen graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting.  She is a licensed CPA in Texas and Colorado.

Aleza Bautista, Co-Secretary

BA from San Diego State University; Sociology and Religious Studies. I have worked in the public and private school system for 20 years as a sales representative for Lifetouch National School Studios, Xerox and currently for Balfour Publishing. I have 3 children. My oldest graduated from Mountain Vista HS and most recently from San Diego State University. My second son is in 8 grade here at STEM and my daughter is a kinder here at STEM as well. I love to travel and most recently took a trip Peru to hike Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain with my oldest son. It was incredible! I look forward to serving on the PTO to help build and strengthen communications between students, parents and the wonderful teachers and administrators at STEM Highlands Ranch.

Heidi Peterson, Communications Co-Coordinator

Heidi recently joined the PTO Board as Communications Co-Coordinator where she is in charge of communications for the PTO including submissions for the school weekly newsletter, PTO website, social media, fliers, signage and other communications platforms and vehicles. Heidi has a degree in Marketing from Seton Hall University and has worked in Risk Management as an Assistant Vice President for Marsh McLennan, Inc. in New York where she met her husband of 13 years.  Alan is an IT Director for at Integrated Petroleum Technologies in Golden and he volunteers his time as Treasurer and Den Leader for Boys Scouts.  Heidi and Alan have two boys (6th and 4th) and their oldest son, Ethan, is a first-time student at STEM this year.

Ashley James, Co-Member At Large

Ashley James is a Co-Member At Large.  Ashley and her husband grew up in Montana and have resided in Colorado for the last 13 years. Ashley attended Montana State University, University of Montana and graduated from Metro State College with a degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology.  Ashley worked as a legal assistant for a civil litigation attorney in downtown Denver for many years.  She currently spends her time helping out in her children’s schools (MHELC and STEM) and their various after school activities.  In her free time she trains and shows her rescue horse in cowboy dressage competitions, practices yoga,  mountain bikes and trail runs.

Bernadette Amaya, Co-Member At Large

Bernadette is a Co-Member At Large.

Erin Gomez, SAC/PTO Representative

Erin is our SAC/PTO combined representative, who keeps both organizations updated on each others great work.  Erin is an engineer who graduated from Colorado School of Mines.  She has worked in the Aerospace and Oil industries.  She has lived in Santa Fe, New Orleans, Nigeria, Dallas, Dubai and Highlands Ranch, with HR being the best place ever!  She and her family (one 7th grade son) enjoy the outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer, including skiing, camping, horseback riding, hiking, biking and scuba diving (OK, that last one may not really be a Colorado activity).

​Committee Volunteers

  • Nomination (Secretary is chair)
  • Events (Vice President(s) is chair)
  • Fundraising (Vice President(s) is chair)
  • Communications (Communications is chair)
  • Finance (Treasurer(s) is chair)
  • Grants (Treasurer(s) is chair)
  • Hospitality Committee (Member At Large(s) is chair)
  • Teacher/Staff Committee (Staff Liaison is chair).